Neil Warnock has become the English Premier League's first managerial casualty of the season, withCrystal Palace sacking him. The 66-year-old only started a second spell at Selhurst Park on 27 August, but has failed to carry on the stellar work done by predecessor Tony Pulis.
Pulis walked out ahead of the season after pulling off a great escape during the last campaign, but Warnock - despite a memorable win over Liverpool - has not got things going and leaves Palace with the club in the relegation zone on 15 points.
"Crystal Palace Football Club can today confirm that Neil Warnock has been relieved of his duties and is no longer first-team manager," said a statement on the club's official website. "The club would like to put on record its thanks to Neil for all his hard work and energy over the past four months. Keith Millen will lead the team against Queens Park Rangers tomorrow as caretaker manager."
Warnock appeared to be showing the strain after yesterday's 3-1 loss to Southampton, bemoaning his side's lack of luck after listening to the club's fans singing "you don't know what you're doing". ''I thought they had a lot of luck last year - I don't see us having much luck this year,'' he said.
"Crystal Palace Football Club can today confirm that Neil Warnock has been relieved of his duties and is no longer first-team manager," the statement on the website read. "The club would like to put on record its thanks to Neil for all his hard work and energy over the past four months. Keith Millen will lead the team against Queens Park Rangers tomorrow as caretaker manager."
Palace go into the match against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday on a miserable run of form, with the Boxing Day defeat to Saints meaning they have won just one of their last 12 top-flight matches. The latest loss saw Warnock incense home fans by bringing defender Martin Kelly on for winger Yannick Bolasie when they were three goals down, while there were also boos from the Selhurst Park faithful at the final whistle.
"When you lose a game you're responsible, I've no complaints about that," he said of the fans' reaction. "Bolasie's wife is having a baby and he was tired before the game today. What with us playing at QPR in not much more than 24 hours, I thought we would just save his legs a bit.
"You know when you take Bolasie off when you're losing 3-0 you're going to get stick, but you just have to think about QPR really. I have no complaints, at 3-0 down, you'd be very surprised not to get a bit of stick. I thought they (the players) were very good today in the circumstances, they were almost as shell-shocked as some of the fans."
The Palace board will be keen to make a swift appointment given the transfer window is days away from reopening.